Oh, how I miss writing this blog… It was so nice to update it every day on my trip and be really thorough with the quality of every photo and sentence I put into it. Now, I sit here at home and the winter is creeping in on me. Today has been misty and really cold, and it is only getting worse. Good thing is, that I am training and competing a lot, and recently have been traveling a lot too. Just haven’t written about it here, but on my regular blog www.ShogunHQ.com instead. I had considered to keep writing about trips on this blog, but I guess this one was only for that one trip around the world, makes more sense.
But a quick update on the weekend tours, I’ll do, while I dream myself back to the times, when I was in hammocks with my iPad random places around the world, writing posts here :D
About a month ago, I was in beautiful Geneve in Switzerland for the Swiss Open. It was nice weather and the alpes were beautiful, as they surrounded the city. Despite being horribly organized, the competition went pretty well for us, taking home a few medals. I lost in my own division, but revenged myself in the open weight, where I took the gold.
Two weeks later, I was in London for four days to compete in London Open. Lost my first match, but it was a good one and I took home some good elements from it. Weather was amazing for England, and we enjoyed many hours in the sun around the London parks and outdoor cafes.
A short break at home, before I took off for Scotland. I was visiting three cities, mountainbiking in the highlands, checking out a whiskey brewery, going out, teaching three seminars and competing – all in five days. It was great to get that feeling of high pace traveling and change of scenes, that I loved so much on my round the world trip. Competition went well too, I took gold in both gi and no-gi.
Tomorrow, I am off for Sweden for Scandinavian Open. Next weekend, it is Paris for a competition and some fun down there, before ending the competition season with a weekend roadtrip to Swedish Open.
Traveling is in my blood now, I cannot help it. I hope to do some trips during the winter before the Europeans in Portugal in January. Other than that, I am spending a lot of time in the gym at the moment, teaching and training. My different teams are doing great and every single minute spent there is a pleasure. I even have a visit at the moment from Fernando Moya, that I trained with in Costa Rica on my trip. He is really good and a cool guy, teaching many of our classes.
Oh yeah, and I am still writing on the BJJ Globetrotter book every day – but don’t expect it to be finished any time soon, it is a lot of work :-)
Check out my other blog www.ShogunHQ.com for updates on my life, training and travels :)
I have been home for about a month now, and starting to accept in my head, that I will stay here for a while. I can feel, that I have been very restless since I got home, really wanting things to happen and seeking out experiences all the time. One thing I really miss is surfing, so I have gone a little board crazy. First, I got myself a cool skimboard, that I have been playing with on the beach a lot. Then I started seeking out people who are surfing in the area, and actually found quite a few. I am going to look at a used surfboard today and will hopefully get in the water soon, reliving the good surfing experiences I have had on my trip.
Training is going really well. Martin Aedma is teaching in my gym for two weeks at the moment, and even though he is injured and can’t roll, I am still getting as much information out of him as possible. I consider him one of the best instructors I have ever trained with and always learn a lot from him.
My give a gi project is going pretty well, albeit a little slow. I guess it is always like that, when you need to have many people do some practical work. It involves some waiting time, but I have had some gis shipped already, and lots more are on their way. Eagerly waiting for photos from the ones who have received them at the moment :)
Writing the book about the trip is one of the biggest tasks I have ever taken upon me. At this moment, I have about half a million characters of notes, which is equivalent to about 224 pages in a paperback book. I try to write a little every night, but have no idea when this is finished, especially given my perfectionism about the project.
Also, I have had lots of visits in my gym already from people who had read the blog. An american guy came by for three weeks to train, a finish guy dropped in for a day, and currently I have a visit from a guy who helped me out in France, the first destination on my trip. Apart from Martin, some guys from Scotland and several other estonian friends are coming in this week too, to attend a training camp in town and I hope to meet and train with them as well. It is really cool to have visits like that, and I do my best to give back some of all the hospitality I experienced on my trip. Remember, the door to my home and gym is always open, YOU are invited too :)
I have been home for a while now, and is still trying to digest the experiences I have had over the last 140 days, traveling around the world. I honestly think it will take a long time, before I truly realize how important a thing this has been to me. What follows, is a bit long post about what I feel in my head these days. It has taken me a long time to figure out how to write it, but I think this is it.
First of all, I would like to thank everyone, who have made this possible for me. I have met, hung out, partied, emailed, talked and trained with hundreds and hundreds of people along the way, and each and every one of you has had an influence on me. The help, friendship and hospitality, I have experienced from you everywhere in the world, has blown me away and I cannot describe, how much it means to me. I also had immense support from everyone I know at home, which has played a big role in realizing this project.
I will now get settled here at home and then get started with all the projects, things and ideas, that have spun off this whole experience. This might be the end of the trip, but the effects of it will echo throughout my life (and maybe yours) for years and years to come. First of all, I have an open invitation to anyone, who wants to come to Denmark to visit and train. There are already quite a bit of people I have met on the trip, who are planning to come by, so my gym will be busy :)
I am also working hard on writing my book from the trip. It is a very big task, and it will take a while, before it is finished. There are just too many good stories from the gyms around the world, that would be a waste not to tell, I think. I have been taking notes over the last five months, and now I am writing every day and trying to put everything together. Apart from the story of the trip itself, I am trying to write about, how I made the trip and lifestyle possible, the preparations, long term decisions and thoughts behind it. I am excited about writing a book, something I never thought of doing, but it makes sense right now and it will be interesting to have for the future.
Having visited a lot of places around the world, where people are training with very little equipment and very basic facilities, I have decided to help them out. Already having shipped a lot of gi’s to Moldova and Dominican Republic, I got the idea to organize it more. I am currently working on a website, that will be a tool for those of us who has too much, to help them who has too little.
The last project, I am working on, is still too good an idea to reveal. It is a big project and will take some time for me to get going, but I promise it will be good and everyone will be able to benefit from it. You will definitely hear about it in the near future ;)
I don’t think that this trip has changed me much. There are not many things, I have changed my view about. What I do feel, is that it has strongly reinforced what I believe in. In some way, I went out to confirm some things to myself, and I found what I was looking for. I feel vibrantly full of love from great friendships, believe in the good in people and know, that the world is indeed my oyster and definitely not a bad or dangerous place. I just got an upgrade on all my skills (BJJ, human and emotional) and feel like a Christian version 2.0 :)
I hear from many people, that they are somewhat afraid to travel. Afraid to go places, they think are dangerous. They prefer the comfort of their own place, where they don’t have to take any chances. Or maybe just going to a place with the same language and culture. On this trip, I have been to the ghettos of eastern europe, a russian military country that does not exist, the poor neighborhoods of India, the favelas of Brazil, the kidnapping capital of South America, a druglord’s hangout in the Dominican Republic, the jungles, the radioactive and earthquake threatened streets of Tokyo and I could go on. Guess what, the worst thing that happened to me, was food poisoning from barbecue hotwings in a Borneo food court. Do not be afraid to explore the world. Go out there and see for yourself, that it is not dangerous and it might contain experiences you will cherish for the rest of your life. Or believe the media paranoia hype and die without trying!
There are no borders in this world. Any dividing and separation of people on this planet are man made. It is not real. There is no difference between us. Friendships, love, adventure, experiences and lives you can live are EVERYWHERE. No matter, where I have gone, I have met fantastic people. I have made more friends in five months, than I could possible do at home in a lifetime, and there seemed to be no limitations to where I would find these. Your next best friend or experience of a lifetime can be anywhere in the world, not just in your own little bubble.
We might seem different on the outside, coming from different countries, races, religions, beliefs, cultures or even another BJJ team (!!), but when we are on the mat, clapping hands and ready to roll, it is so obvious, that there is NO difference.
Now go have some adventure before it is too late, it is waiting for you out there.
I arrived home yesterday and needed to sit down for a while and relax before I could get back to the blogging.
I magically got my backpack in Tallinn airport. It had arrived from Finland the night before, taking a good 6 days to get from Germany to Estonia. It was really nice to get it back, and I was happy it wasn’t in the middle of the trip I had lost it. If I had to lose it, this was the perfect time to do it :) The flight was short and easy and my dad and brother was kind to pick me up in the airport and drive me home.
I don’t really know how I feel about being home. I am trying to find out how I feel, but nothing really comes up, it is kind of weird. In some way, my brain just thinks of this as another location on the trip. Maybe in a week or so, when I realize that I am not going anywhere from now on haha
I have been back to work today. Many people think that running a gym full time is nothing but training, but there is actually tons of stuff to do. I have spend my whole day cleaning up, fixing a computer, moving stuff and answering emails. Back to real life :) I will train here again tomorrow and can’t wait. Having traveled to more than 55 gyms on this trip, my own is still by far my favorite. Maybe because I designed it from my own thoughts of the perfect place to train :D
I need a little time to digest this crazy experience in my mind and will write an afterword later. It has been quite a ride and I can’t really believe that it is over.